Skip to content

Help Your Employees Conquer Christmas Debts

With Christmas now over and another year about to begin, if you’re a small business owner you have (hopefully) experienced a sharp increase in sales over the past few weeks, particularly if some of your stock is aimed at Christmas shoppers, whether it’s festive food supplies, Christmas decorations or items that would make suitable gifts.  According to one of the UK’s leading debt advice providers, Christmas is likely to be the tipping point for people who are already struggling to maintain control of their finances and once the pressure of Christmas is over, debt enquiries usually see a sharp rise every January.   For people with no savings who struggle to make ends meet on a permanent basis, borrowing to pay for Christmas is tempting.  However, finding the money to make the repayments in the New Year is likely to be a struggle and will result in people starting the New Year facing debts that are likely to cause worry and stress.

A government study in 2015 revealed that a massive 20% of people pay for the Christmas festivities and gifts using credit cards or Pay Day loans, making the festive season a tipping point for people already struggling with their finances.   If you employ people in your business, then what should you do if you think some of your staff are struggling with debts left over from Christmas.   While you may think that as an employer you don’t have a duty to help if you think your employees are facing debts, it is inevitable that the money worries they have will affect productivity in the workplace.  This means that as a business owner, it makes good sense to protect your business as best you can, which means making sure productivity is not affected by these debts if possible.

Figures show that more than 200 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt every single day in the UK so at some point you’re likely to be employing and managing somebody with financial problems which can lead to them struggling to pay attention and even making mistakes at work.  This will be detrimental to your business, so offering some support makes good business sense.

One of the biggest challenges you’re likely to face is encouraging employees to come to you and ask for help in the first place.  Personal finances can be a sensitive subject and employees may be reluctant to come forward and reveal to you that they are in financial trouble.  This is why having a good, open relationship with your employees is essential.  Even if your employees don’t want to discuss their debts in detail, you can explain that it’s important for you as an employer to know that they face these problems.

One way of helping employees facing debt is through a wellbeing programme that offers debt counselling – advice and support that staff members are likely to welcome with open arms.  Instead of feeling alone and facing an insurmountable problem, this will make employees feel valued and as if they have some support and understanding which may ease their concerns about their finances.